VIII. THE KLAMATH RIVER RESERVATION1858-1894* (continued)
E. THE SMITH RIVER RESERVATION
Superintendent Hanson, having found a scene of desolation where there had formerly been prosperous farms and gardens, determined to relocate the Indians and agency employees. He toured the Northern District. An area that was suitable would have to have: (a)fertile ground for farms; and (b) be "secluded from white settlements." After satisfying himself that there was no public land nearby meeting these criteria, he determined to move the destitute Indians from the Klamath to Smith River. Reporting on the lower Smith River Valley to Commissioner William P. Dole, Hanson wrote, it is "impregnable to floods, provided with an excellent growth of timber and living springs, and 20 farms." The settlers, when questioned, indicated that they were willing to sell out to the government. Hanson therefore, without clearing the matter with his superiors in Washington, purchased 5,000 acres on the north bank of Smith River.
After securing the land for the Smith River Reservation, Hanson began to remove the Indians from the Klamath. The Yurok were no more eager to live among the Tolowa than the Tolowa were among them. Refusing to go to Smith River, they remained on the Klamath. The Indians from Mad and Eel rivers, however, were eager to move. Numbering between 400 and 500, they "traveled thro snow, rain, and mud, barefooted for 40 miles to where they expected to find something to eat." While en route up the trail to Crescent City, two of the women gave birth to children. Superintendent Hanson and his staff were surprised to see these women pushing on up the trail the next morning, "with the newcomers on their backs, as thou nothing of the kind had happened." 
Commissioner Dole, confronted as he was by a fait accompli, sanctioned Hanson's actions, and on May 3, 1862, the Secretary of the Interior formally established the Smith River Reservation. The agent and his staff were formally transferred to the Smith River Reservation, and the Yurok left to shift for themselves on the Klamath. With the assistance of the military, Hanson soon concentrated the Tolowa on the new reserve, along with the Indians from Mad and Eel rivers. The post to which Captain Stuart moved Company G, 2d California Volunteers, was designated Camp Lincoln.
In 1864 the Hoopa Valley and surrounding mountains were selected by Superintendent Austin Wiley as an Indian Reservation, on which to concentrate the Indians of northwest California. Sixty thousand dollars was appropriated by the Congress in the following year to pay the settlers for their improvements. Many of the Yurok moved up from the Klamath and settled in Hoopa Valley. The Secretary of the Interior on July 27, 1867, discontinued the Smith River Reservation. In 1868 the Tolowa and Mad and Eel River Indians were brought to Hoopa Valley. The Tolowa still refused to live with the Yurok and most of them fled the Reservation. 
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004